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Heat/Radiator issues

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Joined: Sep 12, 2007
Posts: 211
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Location: Monroeville PA

2004 Chevrolet Impala

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject:  Heat/Radiator issues Reply with quote

I had posted this over in "Problems with my car", but I know it will get more eyes on it here, and considering it is a 2004 (which falls in the 2000-2005), I found it best to post it here.. I'll type up the story here and link pictures so as to not force people to go to the other thread.


Long story short, I noticed my thermostat was stuck open at the beginning of the winter. While it was in for inspection, I had the mechanic change the thermostat as well as flush the cooling system.

Since then, the engine heats up quickly like it should, however, the heater core only opens when my foot is on the gas heavy. For example, it seems the thermostat opens four levels. It gets to the third level fine (everything open but the heater core), but only opens the heater core when the gas pedal is pressed. When I press the gas, I can clearly see it open because the temp gauge dips (as the heater core opens) and the heat comes on. However, once the engine returns to idle (such as at a red light or traffic), the thermostat closes the heater core and the temp goes back up to where it was (1 tick above the middle, whereas the normal is just below the middle).

Both door blend actuators work, as I only had heat on one side, so I replaced the drivers side and I now have heat on both sides, but only intermittently after the thermostat was changed.

Anyone have any ideas?

To which someone replied to bleed the radiator system:

I'll second that thought. Make sure to get all air out. Be patiet doing it. Let it get warm with the rad cap off. When warm increase RPM's to 1500 - 2000. Add coolant to fill radiator and put cap on before letting it idle. Then bled system at the stat.

So then I popped the hood and...:

I was at autozone today buying some universal antifreeze to try the suggestions above and saw this...

Anyone know where that fluid is coming from? It looks like it could either be from the cap or the rubberish seal on top of the radiator there. I have attached two pictures. This only started happening after the mechanic flushed and filled the system... Either way I need it fixed, and I need heat for my hour long commute in the PA winter mornings, I just need to figure out whats wrong and how to fix it.

Any ideas?

***EDIT*** Update: I fixed the heat by "burping" the system, although it was messy. I took off the radiator cap at full, filled it up (it wasnt full), then started the car. At first it was burping air bubbles and I kept adding more. Then, when I warmed up the car with the cap open, I put the RPMs at 2k and it warmed up quick, then I topped it off again (and as it tried to pressurize, spilled some, but in the end, filled it) and put some in the "reservoir").

Took it for a drive and had heat the whole time. Wiped out the whole radiator around that seal and cleaned up the mess.

The seal bothers me however, as I have a feeling that because of the coolant that leaked out there, it caused the air pockets/heat problems.

Any ideas on a fix?
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Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 53
Posts per day: 0.02
Location: Joliet, IL

2003 Chevrolet Impala

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject:  Funny, that's the same area.... Reply with quote

where I found a greenish clear liquid.... it was NOT antifreeze tho, it was oil coming from the a/c compressor.... Confused
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